Food and nutrition play an increasingly visible and important role in ensuring the health of individuals, families and communities—and registered dietitian nutritionists serve as leaders and advocates in this growing field. If you are a student who has completed your bachelor’s degree as well as the coursework required by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) or a Foreign Dietitian Education Program (FDE)*, Messiah’s dietetic internship provides the necessary supervised practice experiences required for you to take the national registered dietitian exam. After successfully completing the exam, you will become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) who is equipped to provide nutritional care and services in a variety of settings.
The full-time 35-week internship with a concentration in food insecurity provides 19 graduate credits upon completion. The internship combines coursework with a minimum of 1,275 supervised practice hours in inpatient medical nutrition therapy, community nutrition, food service management, and service to individuals with limited access to the foods needed for a healthy life. Messiah University offers graduates of ACEND approved, credit bearing dietetic internships an opportunity to apply to an accelerated MBA program with a dietetics concentration. The MBA degree is offered fully online and can be completed in as little as 18 months. As you may be aware, CDR will be requiring a master’s degree to sit for the RD/RDN exam by 2024. Interns will be placed in supervised practice sites located throughout central Pennsylvania, with the majority of hours occurring at WellSpan Health System. Additional sites include a public school, Pennsylvania Area Nutrition Education Network (P.A.N.E.N.), a long-term care facility and a food bank.
*Verification of the required courses must be obtained from an ACEND-accredited didactic program in dietetics (DPD) or Foreign Dietitian Education Program (FDE). The Messiah University Nutrition and Dietetics major is an ACEND-accredited DPD.
There are two types of application to the Dietetic Internship at Messiah University . A preselect option is available only to students in their last year of the Messiah University Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). A national dietetic internship match option is open to all other DPD graduates.
Preselect option (for Messiah University students only)
Only students in their last year of the Messiah University Didactic Program in Dietetics may apply to this option. Application materials will be distributed to interested students in NUTR 493: Senior Seminar in Nutrition and Dietetics, which is taken during the fall of the senior year. Preselect applications are due by December 1 and applicants will be notified on or by January 15. Individuals accepted for the preselect option are not eligible to participate in the national dietetic internship match process. For further information about the application requirements and due dates, go here.
National Match option
The Messiah University Dietetic Internship participates in the national dietetic internship computer match process which occurs each spring. All non-Messiah University DPD graduates should apply using this option. Applicants must register and indicate their internship rankings for the computer match with D&D Digital. The Messiah University D&D Digital code is 747. In addition, applicants must complete the Messiah University graduate application for admission and submit their application materials using the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS). If you have questions about the application process for DICAS, you are encouraged to contact your undergraduate program director. For information about application requirements and due dates, go here.
Second Round Dietetic Internship applicants (for those who do not match in the first round)
If Messiah University has spots available after the first round of the match process has been completed, we will consider applications submitted in the second round. Please see D& D Digital for details.
Requirements to be considered for admission in the second round include the following:
1. Release your DICAS application materials to Messiah University (through DICAS)
2. Submit Messiah University application for graduate admission online
Additionally, if conditionally accepted into the Dietetic Internship program at Messiah University , final official transcripts showing degree awarded and official DPD verification statement are due by July 1.
Messiah University Dietetic Internship is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, (312) 899-0040 ext 540, eatrightPRO.org/ACEND.
It is ACEND’s considered opinion that the program is designed to and does meet all state dietetics licensure and certification laws as some states may interpret their statutes differently. More information about state licensure and certification is available at this link: State Licensure.
- A program committed to integrating Christian ethics with professional knowledge and skills
- The academic distinction of a nationally ranked, accredited Christian university
- A concentration in food insecurity
- No-fee tuition
- Students earn 19 graduate credits upon completion of the program
- Opportunity to apply for Messiah’s accelerated MBA degree with a dietetics concentration.
- A cohort learning model that helps students develop meaningful relationships with one another as they progress through the program